AP NEWS

Nine arrested after raids of two Houston poker rooms

May 1, 2019

Nine people face money laundering charges after authorities raided two poker rooms in Houston.

The arrests capped a two-year effort between The Harris County District Attorney’s Office and Houston Police Department, which searched the Post Oak Poker Club and Prime Social Poker Club.

“We are changing the paradigm regarding illegal gambling by moving up the criminal chain and pursuing felony money laundering and engaging in organized crime charges against owners and operators,” District Attorney Kim Ogg said. “Players are not being targeted.”

Those clubs’ bank accounts are now frozen and face seizure, according to the district attorney’s office. Millions of dollars have allegedly flowed through the accounts, although the office didn’t immediately provide specifics.

The owners and operators arrested at the clubs have been charged with money laundering, a first-degree felony.

The people arrested in association with Post Oak Poker Club, on 1001 West Loop South Suite 400, are owners Daniel Jeffery Kebort, William Jack Heuer II, Alan Harris Chodrow, Sergio Diaz Cabrera, and Kevin Louis Chodrow, officials said.

Prime Social Poker Room, on 7801 Westheimer, employed four people who also face charges. They are owner Dean Maddox, comptroller Mary Switzer, general manager Brent J. Pollack and assistant general manager Steven Farshid.

The investigation, led by the district attorney’s office Money Laundering Division and the police department’s Vice Division, followed the arrests of nearly three dozen people last year related to illegal gambling operations in Chinatown, including three police officers.

“We can’t allow illegal gambling to go on,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said. “It drives organized crime and fuels other criminal activity.”

samantha.ketterer@chron.com

Twitter.com/sam_kett